Monday, September 16, 2013

On to "Plan B" – Nederland Post-Crisis Recovery Planning

Location: Nederland, CO 80466, USA
Nederland Information and Recovery Meeting on Tuesday
If Plan A, is the immediate evacuations and rescue operations of the emergency event itself, then Plan B would be the near-term and long-term recovery planning efforts. We will begin with a Community Information and Flood Recovery Meeting regarding present conditions, road access, and recovery efforts.

It will be at the Community Center
Tuesday, Sept 17, from 5:00-7:00pm
before the regular BOT meeting.
Food will be served.

We would like to bring issues relevant to Greater Nederland Area residents to the forefront, as we are communicating with our regional partners. Our Board meeting agenda is fairly light (including presenting Police Chief, Jake Adler with a Town Proclamation), so there may be some time to continue the discussion on the Town's recovery efforts, which I will call, "Plan B", at our BOT meeting.

Kim Culver is making beans & rice, gluten-free cornbread, and mac & cheese for the kids. If you are able, please bring a dish to share as well.

In The Mean Time:

The Town has issued some releases on our website as we learned a few more things today:

Town staff have been in constant contact with the Boulder Office of Emergency Management, and the Boulder OEM website is still the place for the most current emergency information.

Boulder Canyon:

We did hear from CDOT this morning. CDOT Engineers worked through the weekend and it looks like they will be able to open Boulder Canyon in one month. see CDOT Flood Update here.

I have spoken with Boulder County Commissioner, Elise Jones on the importance of opening Boulder Canyon safely. The State, and Boulder County are looking at other alternatives like Coal Creek, Sunshine and Left-Hand Canyons, but Boulder Canyon still seems to be the most promising.

Town Staff is participating in CDOT regional meetings, and we might be able to offer utilizing our town staff and equipment to expedite clearing the debris from Boulder Canyon.

FEMA Relief:

The FEMA conference call, photo by Kevin Bommer at CML
Today, Town Staff and I, had a conference call where FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate gave a briefing to Governor Hickenlooper and Colorado congressional officials among others. 

In the short term, Fugate said that individuals who have suffered losses need to register with FEMA at either 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or at FEMA's website. In determining what level of assistance will be available, FEMA will look at whether any losses are covered by insurance and whether the individuals would qualify for Small Business Administration (SBA) disaster loans (which cover more than just businesses) prior to looking at the potential for FEMA grants.  A representative of SBA noted that it is important for individuals who might qualify to get their applications submitted within 60 days.  This ensures their ability to resubmit later and take advantage of the fact that, unlike a bank, the SBA can make loans based on the pre-disaster value of property. If you are approved, you can decline assistance if you like, and you will have 6 months to decide. So, it makes sense to submit an application, because you might need it six months from now.

Since President Obama signed the Major Disaster Declaration on Saturday, FEMA has been mobilizing and will be able to address our infrastructure needs as well.

FEMA Administrator Fugate is strictly business and straight to the point. He clearly is the right guy to have watching our back at the federal level.

The Community Center:

The First Floor will be closed for repairs, but the second floor will remain open. Nederland Area Seniors (NAS) will continue lunches on Monday and Wednesday as usual. The Food Pantry and NAS will continue to collaborate to accept donations, and coordinate medicine for those in need. The Food Pantry still provides food on the FIRST and LAST Thursday of each month in Room 106 of the West Wing from 9:30am to 12:00pm.

The N Bus:

I have spoken with RTD District Director, Chuck Sisk to see if there are alternatives for the N Bus. I asked if we could route a bus from the same locations (Ned Park-N-Ride to Walnut Station) but physically drive it through Black Hawk. Director Sisk researched it, and RTD cannot drive the buses outside the RTD District. He also expressed that getting the N Bus back in operation safely is a top priority, and we will continue to look for ways to make it happen.

I am also exploring other ways we might be able get a shuttle going through Black Hawk for a month.

Nederland Ride Share & Child Care:

A new grassroots Facebook Group called, Nederland Ride Share & Child Care has been started, and people are already offering rides to Boulder from the Nederland Park-N-Ride. We all still have free EcoPasses, so once you get to Boulder, you could take RTD around as well.

Rental Units for Displaced People:

FEMA has indicated that there is a need for available rental units in the area. If you have something available to offer, call (720) 564-2927 for information.

Nederland Local Businesses are OPEN:

I really appreciate that local businesses have been open throughout the emergency, and have been able to offer supplies, food, fuel for everyone in the area, and a place for neighbors to get together to and help each other out. Please continue to patronize our local businesses and thank them for being here for our community.

Nederland Roads that are still an issue:

Lower Second Street is still closed to traffic other than residents. Peakview, the corner of Alpine and Big Springs Drive, and West Pine Street are also issues that Public Works is addressing. Please be patient and thank our town staff when you see them.

We in Nederland are very blessed and fortunate to be spared the most tragic aspects of this flood. I believe we will emerge stronger as a community once we get everyone, and everything in its right place.

[Here is a Video Valediction] This is Herre de Leur, covering Radiohead's Everything in its Right Place. [What is a Video Valediction?]
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